The Deck of Evolutionary Cards

A few weeks ago, a letter to the editor in our local paper suggested that an example of the progression of evolution could be compared with the building of a card suit, with each turn of the cards indicating a mutation which if it did not follow in the proper order, it then was returned to the deck to surface later, now perhaps in the proper sequence.  I replied with the following:

At first it seems to be an effective illustration, but there are problems with it.

On one hand, it assumes that progress will be sequential.  The card which is not in proper order is returned to the deck – but what evolutionary mechanism would do that?   The assumption is that each mutation in its proper order is somehow beneficial and therefore is promoted, presumably in preparation for the mutations to come, and what is not usable or conflicting is disposed of, but we have no proof of that.  It must be remembered that evolution is not structured nor does it have design, but rather is chaotic – purely random – in its operation and therefore has no vested interest in building a suit in its proper order, nor in destroying the suit at any time.

It is assumed that with “survival of the fittest” that the “better” (“fittest”) organism survives.  However, what if a mutation which is beneficial, because the new structure that is being formed is not complete, may in actuality weaken the organism for the time being?  How do we know that the genes for sickle cell anemia, or even for cancer, are not merely stages in the progression toward a “more fit” organism?  If we defeat these genes, are we thwarting evolution?  Should we perhaps make them as widespread as possible to allow for the future “turn of the card”?  But then, again, this assumes design in the building of the suit.

Or is the truth that there really are destructive mutations, and that they occur in a far greater number than the beneficial?  Arbitrarily let us assume the red suits in the card deck are the beneficial mutations, the black being the destructive – but because of the greater quantity of the negative mutations we must come up with many more black suits (and even some black cards for the red suits).  So as any red suit is being built, there is simultaneously a great number of black suits also being built – that is, the sickle cell anemias, the “blue bloods,” the cancer genes, and many other genetic diseases also are being “built.”  We cannot assume that these diseases, as they occur today, are at their end product of destruction, and the evidence is that such lethal genes are not automatically purged from the genome.
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The problem arises when, on one hand, any black suit is completed, the organism ceases and the board is cleared; yet on the other hand, if any red suit is completed, the board is not cleared – the black suits remain and continue to build.  This is what is called “genetic load,” a term that has been around for decades.

Therefore when a new trait or even species supposedly surfaces, that is, a “progress” occurs in evolution, the destructive mutations would continue to build – there would be many seeds of the new structure’s destruction already present and still accumulating.  And these will continue to grow, because as chaos, evolution does not care either way.  The only way that the “black” suits can be cleared and that the board is now in “virgin” state for the new species is through special creation.

So it seems that although the product of special creation is assumed, the method of evolution is demanded.

There appears to be a logical inconsistency at work here.

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